Live music is an experience that cannot be streamed. Theres nothing like the “concert” experience. Vibing off the excitement from the crowd, the anticipation of whats to come and the climatic main event.
Music is the one stimulus that lights up the entire brain on a PET scan, including the cerebellum, part of the hindbrain that lies beneath the larger cerebral cortex resulting in the triggering of pleasure centers that release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy. This response is so quick, the brain can even anticipate the most pleasurable peaks in familiar music and prime itself with an early dopamine rush.
Music provides a total brain workout. Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. Music is one of the worlds greatest art forms for many reasons, not just health benefits. Music is the ultimate time machine as a song can immediately transport you. In celebration of concerts resuming in full force I decided to ask musicians and music journalists to share their most memorable concert experiences.
Rich Deckard, Writer: I’ve been going to concerts pretty much my whole life. Started with my Dad taking me to see Styx at the Lee Civic Center Fort Myers Florida, which was followed by getting dropped off with friends at that same venue to see Ozzy, and just took off like a rocket from there… Maiden, Rush, Kiss, Metallica…most of the metal acts from back in the day, followed by the edgier, arty stuff I graduated to later, like Black Flag, GBH, Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, Circle Jerks, etc etc.
But through all these years, and through countless bands, there’s a short list of acts that I was genuinely lucky to see; because either they didn’t tour in the States much, they didn’t have long careers, they were too expensive, whatever the reason, in hindsight, this short list were events that I’ll never forget:
The Cramps– saw them more than once, one of my all time favs, and they always fucking delivered. There will never be another band quite like them. Bowie– Even though he was huge, he just didn’t seem to tour all that much, and when he did, tickets weren’t cheap. It was later in his career, the Glass Spider tour, but it was still fantastic. And it really blows people’s minds today when I tell them I saw him live. Die Antwoord– A surprise to many that know me, but I actually love this band. They’re so different, so original. I went with an ex who loved them, and by shows end, I left as a fan boy. Realistically, for many reasons that have nothing to do with me, I’ll probably never see them again. Wolfmother– God, what a monster debut lp…all killer, no filler. Great show, great performance, and got to hang with them before the show for a sound check- meet and greet. The original line up broke up prior to the second lp and they were never the same. Glad I saw them when I did. And this one comes in as an afterthought edit:
Motorhead– I say this not because they were hard to see ( I saw them many times ) but because of one particular gig I saw: the last one. They played Orlando right before the Motorboat Cruise, which unfortunately was the end. So…seeing a frail but determined Lemmy on his last stage on land was something I’ll never forget.
Nile and Voraath – Brad Parris – Bass, Vocals My most memorable concert experience was meeting Rob halford while on tour with Nile and realizing how awesome and nice of a person he is. Follow Voraath on Instagram, follow Voraath on Facebook, follow Voraath on Twitter. Subscribe to Voraath on YouTube. Follow Voraath on Bandcamp. Watch Voraath’s new video The Barrens here.
Graveshadow: William Lloyd Walker – Guitars. The most memorable moment for me was going to Ozzfest when I was 15. Iron Maiden was the big draw for me; they’ve always been my favorite band. But also getting to see Black Sabbath, Arch Enemy, Mastodon and Rob Zombie all on the same bill was like a dream come true. I was into all of those bands and getting to see them all perform on the same day was captivating. Seeing them get on stage in front of thousands of people and be able to reach all of them with their energy and passion was life-changing. When Iron Maiden came on I just remember being mesmerized by the stage set up, the performance and the roar from the crowd after every song. It really kind of sealed the deal for me; I knew I wanted to be a part of something like that. Being able to share my passion with others from around the world became my singular driving force. I went with two of my closest friends and it wasn’t long after that we formed the first band I was ever a part of. I haven’t looked back; ups and downs aside I wouldn’t trade my journey with music for anything. It’s been a challenging, rewarding experience all the way through and I’m always hungry to see what comes next. Watch Graveshadow’s video Soldier Of 34. Subscribe to Graveshadow on YouTube Graveshadow on Instagram Graveshadow on Facebook Graveshadow on Twitter
Sinnery – Alon Karnieli – Vocalist and rhythm guitar player. It was the 22nd of May 2010 and Metallica finally made a comeback to Tel Aviv. I was 14 at the time and already a huge Metallica fan making my first steps into the metal world. I also played guitar for a few years up until then, but I wasn’t very good. I was watching the whole show from the bleachers since I was too short and my parents thought I would get trampled in the mosh pit. There I was at my first metal concert waiting eagerly for it to start so I can gaze upon it from the distance and then all of the sudden the “Ecstacy of Gold” started playing and right after “Creeping Death” began playing and these four dudes took the stage by storm keeping my jaw scraping the bleacher’s floor for the next two hours. Never before have I seen anything like it, I was starstruck by the lights and the band’s performance on stage and also the crowd chanting in unison throughout the whole set. Right there and then I knew that this is exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life and so a couple of weeks after that show I started my first band where I met Idan Kringel who was my partner in crime since then, we founded Sinnery together. Subscribe to Sinnery on YouTube. Follow Sinnery on Instagram. Follow Sinnery on Facebook.
Dreams In Peril – Dalton Collins – Bass
I grew up in a music-oriented family, my uncle played guitar, my sister played guitar, my cousins played guitar, my grandmother played the piano and the drums, my mother sang in bars with bands, my dad messed around playing guitar and well, I picked up the bass guitar, and now I play for a Death Metal/ Hardcore band named Dreams In Peril. I saw my first local show when I was about 11 years old and I hung out with 20 to 30-year-old musicians and thought, someday, I’m gonna do that too! And I did! I have had lots of failures along the way and I basically grew up within the Kansas City Metal/ Music scene and was coached along the way by the local musicians as I grew up! I am still learning and will probably never stop learning. But music has always been a major part of my life.
The comradery of my scene and also going to the bigger concerts and seeing the process of becoming a bigger musician really gave me an indication that it is very much possible to reach my goals and dreams. It has always been my goal to get further within the music industry. I grew up with it.
Tour Dates – Dreams In Peril w/ Pig Weed:
May 27 – The Graffiti Room – Bedford Park, IL
May 28 – Maple Grove Tavern – Maple Heights, OH
May 29 – Westside Bowl – Youngstown, OH
May 30 – Sovereign – Brooklyn, NY
May 31 – The Stoney Badger Tavern – Lynchburg, VA
June 1 – The Recreation Center – Fredericksburgh, VA
June 2 – Black Circle Brewing – Indianapolis, IN
June 3 – Vivo – Overland Park – Kansas City, MO
June 4 – Kendalls Bar – Oklahoma City, OK
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Pablo Sanchez- Musician – Public Figure: My most memorable concert experience was when I went to see David Lee Roth live in West Palm Beach, Florida 2002.
The show was amazing and I was blown away by so much talentship, the musicians that I saw play with David Lee Roth that night were James Lomenzo on bass (Megadeth), Ray Luzier on drums (Korn) and Brian Young on guitar (Paul Stanley).
That show was the closest thing to a Van Halen show from the early days and was truly amazing.
After 18 years of that show I had the privilege to interview Brian Young and I had the amazing oportunity to record two songs with him, Van Halen’s D.O.A and Black Sabbath’s Heaven and Hell for my YouTube channel. Follow Pablo on Facebook Art and Wine Channel Here, on Instagram Art and Wine Channel Here, and on The Art and Wine Channel on YouTube.
Sahil Makhija aka Demonstealer – Musician – Demonic Resurrection. My most memorable concert would be the Inferno Metal festival in Norway in 2010. Demonic Resurrection was a band I started when I was 17 years old. There was no real scene in India, hardly any international metal bands had ever played in the country. We had no concept of music festivals that were multiple days filled with the best bands ever and it was something we’d never experienced. In 2009 when we were confirmed for the festival we didn’t know what to expect but we were excited like a bunch of kids in a candy store. In fact we had no experience booking the band for festivals and thanks to a cultural exchange program between India and Norway we got to be the first Indian metal band to go and play in Norway at the festival.
We were booked to play the John Dee stage which was the smaller of the two stages at the festival. The gig was one of the best times we’ve ever had. Not only did we play to a packed venue we were welcomed by the Norwegian metal crowd. We saw some people up front headbanging who even knew the lyrics to our songs and when our set ended there were chants of ‘one more song’ which we did not expect. After our set we even saw a group of 4-5 metalheads all wearing our merch. We met so many people who loved our set. It really was one of the most memorable gigs we played. And the cherry on the cake was experiencing a real metal festival for the first time. Getting to actually run into some of our metal heros like Ihsahn, Arnt Obsidian and many more. Heck we even ran into Ghaal at the breakfast buffet at the hotel and Samoth as well. One of the best memories I’ll have of my life. Subscribe to Demonic Resurrection on YouTube. Follow Demonic Resurrection on Bandcamp. Follow Demonic Resurrection on Facebook. Follow Demonic Resurrection on Instagram.
Helsott– Eric Dow- Vocals When I was 18 years old I saw Pantera 4 nights in a row. On the second night in San Diego, right after the show the security just left the gate for the backstage area so I just walked straight back there and the first thing I saw was Phil Anselmo, Kerry King, Tom Araya, and Dimebag. I just walked up to their circle and passed a joint around with them and they gave me some beers. I hung out with them for 20 minutes or so. Dimebag was the nicest guy there. He and I walked off to the side and continued a conversation for another 10 minutes. He gave me a hug and a guitar pick and that was one of the best memories I have ever had at a concert. The next night was an epic story…but perhaps for another time. Follow Helsott on Facebook. Follow Helsott on Instagram. Follow Helsott on Twitter. Subscribe to Helsott on YouTube. Watch Helsot’s video “I’ll Make Ya Famous.” Pre order their new album “Will And The Witch “ Here
The Medea Project– Brett Minnie – Vocals/Guitar Saron Gas, Durban, KZN, South Africa 2001. Before the internationally known alternative rock band Seether there was Saron Gas. Three South African lads who played the vast (in distance) local circuit before they left for the USA and a well earned record deal. They were a powerhouse of post-grunge mayhem, and this was one of their final shows before the migration. A mutual friend of mine and the band was invited on stage to join them as a guest vocalist. Being the hooligans we were in our local night club and a lot of us knowing the band in a personal capacity, the poor chap was heckled and interfered with, but managed to pull off his guest appearance, with his trousers flying at half mast as someone in the audience decided to dive onto the stage and yank them down. This is one of the joys of pre-social media and camera phone shows, there is no proof on the internet of this ever occurring. One song later the crowd erupted into one of the most intense mosh pits I have ever had the pleasure of being in. Now bear in mind that this is subtropical Africa, in the height of summer, so temperatures are normally very warm in the evening with incredible humidity. Standard show attire is often flip-flops and board shorts, which we often dubbed as “the surf metal look”. Add in this tumultuous pit and all sorts of hilarity ensues. I recall that evening ending with myself having to stumble out of the pit and venue, just wearing the front portion of my shorts as someone had grabbed onto my pockets as I was careening by and torn the back portion clear off. Not something you’d forget easily, and this has had the lasting impact of me still charging into insane pits whenever the opportunity arises. I’ve always been drawn to music since I was very young. I was involved in performing arts at school and dabbled in various disciplines. Some part of me has this need to perform on stage, I can’t explain it any further than that. My parents listened to a lot of folk and early rock and roll, and so the guitar was accessible to my ears. I begged my parents for a guitar for years and finally got one in my teenage years, a beaten second hand classical guitar that I used to play through an old tube hi-fi with a stick-on transducer pickup. Then I discovered Iron Maiden and Man-O-War and the bass work hooked me, that’s what I wanted to do! So, not having much money, I made a few plans and managed to borrow an old beaten bass and set about figuring out how to play the instrument. Bass is a strange beast though, you can play the guitar unaccompanied, however with a bass it’s a fundamental part of music, so ultimately you need to play with other musicians, also music itself is a social thing, so all of these things added up into me throwing my lot in with live music and joining my first band.
The Medea Project – Pauline Silver – Drums/Percussion Live Jimmy Presley, Durban, South Africa
My earliest memory of an original band and one that still comes up in my conversations now, is Live Jimmy Presley. Blasting the South African alternative nightclub stages in the early 90’s, they were an entity to behold. Hailing from Joburg, the Industrial band put on shows like no other. This was before the interwebs and it was always thrilling when an indemnity form was thrust before me on entry to the nightclub as it was a sure sign that LJP was playing that night. Gracing the stage, a huge frame with car parts hanging off it, an anvil, gas bottles and various other flammable paraphernalia. I can still remember the power and sound that emanated from the stage along with smoke and fire along with the smell of burning hair as people would headbang right in the midst of angle grinder sparks that sprayed off stage as they played. “The band quit due to growing concerns for audience safety, especially after our last gig. Going that far with the show and then cutting back wouldn’t work’ recalls Derek Davey (bass and drums).” Getting into music was not a conscious decision. Growing up, we always had music playing at home and as a teenager, it was the medium that would fuel and tool my rebellious nature. My dad was a musician but didn’t do much to help or inspire me but I always had an impulse to play an instrument which was a journey of love and hate. Playing live was merely a distant dream and when I did end up joining my first band much later in life than most, I was adamant that I didn’t want to play live at all. I was happy just being creative, hanging out and jamming with my bandmates. When we were asked to play a gig, I eventually relented and said I would do 1 show and no more. Well 1 show turned into many shows, 4 bands, 3 instruments and a journey with no regrets! Follow The Medea Project on Facebook. Follow The Medea Project on YouTube. Follow The Medea Project on Band camp.
Solitary – Roy Miller – Drums To single out one most memorable show I’ve attended is a hard thing to do as there’s so many. A few that need a mention are: Slayer at Rock City in 2000, God Forbid opening for The Haunted at the Leeds Cockpit in 2005, The Haunted at the Manchester Academy 3 in 2003, Manowar at the Birmingham O2 in 2011, Slayer at the Astoria in 2003 doing Reign In Blood But the main one that sticks out is Slayer at Download in 2004. One of their best performances of the near 20 time I’ve seen them and the atmosphere was something I’ll never forget. Something had happened with their gear arriving from Holland so they played the 2nd stage in the tent instead of their main stage slot. Everyone who was there to see Slayer that day was in that tent. When the crew rolled out Taking Back Sunday’s gear all hell broke loose, the stage was bombarded with bottles and anything else anyone could get their hands on and there just seemed to be one massive ‘Slayer’ chant filling the tent. There was a tense atmosphere in the air and I can only imagine it was what attending a Slayer show in the late ‘80s must have been like. Rumour has it Taking Back Sunday refused to take the stage due to the hostility filling the air in anticipation of Slayer, so when their gear was rolled off and Lombardo’s kit was rolled on a massive cheer went up and the ‘Slayer’ chant started again. I remember Tom had lost his voice and the only time he spoke when not singing was to introduce ‘Dead Skin Mask’ as he did. It added to the intensity of the show and the band just put their foot to the floor, and raced through their set. I remember people climbing the masts of the tent, being drawn into one of the many pits around me and just banging my head like I was 14 again and just being covered in sweat and god knows what else by the time they had finished. I’ve been into music for as long as I can remember. There’s a pic of me as a baby with headphones on giving the thumbs up. But my real love for it started after hearing my dad play Appetite for Destruction as a 10 Yr old. Fast forward 3yrs and just before my 13th birthday I went to my 1st gig at the Milton Keynes Bowl to see Gun’s n’ Roses in 1993. It was around this time I started to learn to play guitar as i wanted to be Slash, but fate led me to the drums and the rest is history as they say. Follow Solitary at Imperative PR Management UK. Follow Solitary on Facebook. Follow Solitary on Instagram. Follow Solitary on YouTube. Follow Solitary on Bandcamp. Follow Solitary on Spotify. Find Solitary on Metalville Records
Spectral Darkwave – The Arch Kakoph – Vocals/Guitar
My parents never took me to gigs as a kid, I just thought music was magic that someone else did! That changed as a teenager in the mid 90’s – my first proper gig was at The Astoria 2 in London with as I remember Placebo and Ash on the same bill. It made me realise just how much noise and power just 3 people could conjure. My music taste got heavier and heavier (and heavier) over time as I chased the scale of the music from video games but that was the show where creating huge waves of shared emotion first became an achievable and desirable goal. Follow Spectral Darkwave on Instagram. Follow Spectral Darkwave on Facebook. Follow Spectral Darkwave at Imperative PR UK Management. Subscribe to Spectral Darkwave on YouTube. Follow Spectral Darkwave on Bandcamp. Follow Spectral Darkwave on Spotify
Final Coil – Phil Stiles – Vocals/Guitar Growing up in the south of England in the 90s, getting to gigs was difficult and I was well into my teens before I was able to see the music that was increasingly becoming central to my existence. My gateway into live music was listening to a mix of John Peel, John Cavanaugh’s Rock Show and the Evening Session, all of which broadcast gigs and all of which I slavishly taped, listening to the shows over and over, imagining what it would be like to be there. It was a mix of Reading and Glastonbury shows I listened to the most, and I had tapes featuring sets from bands that I still love today – Soul Asylum, Beck, Hole, Mudhoney, Belly, Sonic Youth… alternative bands that just blazed away on stage and which, in that pre-internet era, felt a million miles away from the little town in which I lived. The one show that made me want to pick up a guitar was Sebadoh. I’d discovered the band not long before, when they released Harmacy, and I’d just hit that age (fifteen or sixteen, I think), where I could twist my mum’s arm a little to let me go to a show. The band were playing Portsmouth at a venue called The Wedgewood Rooms. It’s a small place, and back then it had a red entrance hall and a black central room – sticky floored and already filling up when my friend and I arrived. It seems funny having spent so many years playing in venues exactly like it, but it was so exciting to walk into that room. It smelt of rock ‘n’ roll – that mix of over-zealously applied deodorant, stale beer, cigarettes and sweat –and I wandered the perimeter three or four times, my eyes eating up my face, as I finally got to see this magical place I’d been imagining for years. The posters on the wall, some tattered and stained with thrown drinks, told of awesome tours that I’d been too young to see and forthcoming attractions too numerous and exciting to fully absorb. The crowd, meanwhile, was that typical alternative mix of long-haired teens and leather-jacketed veterans – talking in small groups, or downing pints at the bar. It was strange. I’d never set foot in that room before, but before I’d heard a note, I knew I’d be back in this place that just felt like home.We edged our way to the front far too early, and then glued ourselves to the railing. Some of the bigger audience members may have been able to prise my fingers of the metal tube that separated us from the stage, but I was determined to make sure they’d have to fight for it. The first band on was QuickspaceSupersport, a short-lived art rock band from London. I’d heard them – on John Peel I think – and they were amazing. The sheer volume of their set was like nothing I had previously experienced, and it felt like the drums were tenderising my innards. I honestly can’t remember much else of their set. I jumped. I screamed. They were gods that walked the earth and the room was a heaving mess of moving bodies. It’s probably a rose-tinted memory, but I remember it as being not unlike the video for Sonic Youth’s Dirty Boots, and it all seemed so unutterably cool. Then Sebadoh came on. This being a time where money was tight, you bought a CD and listened to it to death, not knowing when you’d have the cash for the next one. As a result, I knew a good deal of the songs and spent the set giddily singing along. What I didn’t expect was that the band would regularly swap instruments, with Lou singing the majority of the calmer numbers, while bassist Jason gave vent to the punkier pieces. Then Bob Fay would head to the front (one of the others covering the drums), and I could only marvel at a band so comfortable in switching roles at the drop of a hat. It was a typically schizophrenic set, taking in indelible anthems like Beauty Of The Ride and then scarring the venue with all-out punk assaults like Crystal Gipsy. Way heavier than on record, it was my introduction to the idea that you could be nuanced on record and then utterly rip on stage – something that I always love when I watch a band. By the time it was over, I had been wedged against the barrier for some two hours, and I could have happily stayed there for another two. Instead, I joined the rest of the audience streaming out of the venue. Soaked in sweat, neck aching and ears ringing, I was euphoric at what I had witnessed, and heartbroken that it was over. It was a transcendental experience and writing this now I am all too aware of how inadequate mere words are to convey what I experienced at that show. As for what followed… well, I already had a guitar at home, but I’d been lazy, learning little beyond the basics. After that show I knew I had to try and do something, and I started really working at my chords. I saved up and bought a cheap guitar and amp (the guitar I still have, the amp is long gone) and I pushed that thing as hard as I could, trying to wring the same punk energy from six strings that seemed to defy my fingers as often as they obeyed my will. Eventually, it led to Final Coil and, if we sound very different to Sebadoh, I like to think some of that schizophrenic spirit can be found in our music. Some things dull with age and it’s easy to let cynicism set in, but I’ve never lost that sense of excitement that I get at the start of a gig. I guess different people get that rush for different reasons, but there’s just something about the sight of the amps piled high that comes with its own unique sense of anticipation. I’ve seen more gigs than I can count, and played a nit insignificant number, but I will never forget the intensity and wonder of that Sebadoh show and it has absolutely influenced everything I have done since. Follow Final Coil on Instagram. Follow Final Coil on Facebook. Find Final Coil At Worm Hole Death Records. Find Final Coil at Imperative PR Management UK. Follow Final Coil on Spotify. Subscribe to Final Coil on YouTube.
Forged in Black – Kevin Rochester – Drums. Being the oldest member of the band, I was a teenager in the 1970’s & living in Southend-On-Sea, Essex (U.K.), we had the famous Southend Kursaal. Apart from being a beacon for families, it housed The Kursaal Ballroom, which was on the circuit list for every band around (from home & abroad); we saw the best of the best there, virtually every week. On Jan 10th 1976 Black Sabbath arrived as part of their ‘Sabotage’ tour. I had become a firm Sabbath fan after hearing ‘Paranoid,’ then bought the eponymous classic ‘BlackSabbath,’ then every subsequent album after. I had just bought ‘Sabotage’ & was looking forward to seeing them for the first time. When they came on, I wasn’t prepared…..!! The sound was so bloody loud, but very clear & the crowd were following Ozzy from the word go, who was encouraging everyone to head bang, go crazy etc. Tony Iommi was as he is today, the calm man in black, knocking out the enormous riffs that invented metal. Geezer Butler was as animated as always with his solid inventive bass lines….then there was Bill Ward – he is the reason I am a drummer, from hearing the albums, as he was on the jazzier side like me. Live, he hit harder than anyone ever gave him credit for, he was an absolute powerhouse that night, and he led the band from the back. Wherever I looked, every person was head banging, nearly all the time; it was the most powerful gig I have ever seen to this day. I will add one more gig, being Led Zeppelin August 11, 1979 Knebworth. This is a gig worth mentioning, especially as the two appearances they did here were their final gigs in this country. They were not a band that affected me like Sabbath, but I really did like & respect them & the set was good, but more relaxed, you could lie down & watch a band at festivals back then. The fact you tell people you saw Zeppelin, is met with disbelief most of the time. Follow Forged in Black on Instagram. Follow Forged in Black on Facebook. Follow Forged in Black on Twitter. Subscribe to Forged in Black on YouTube. Find Forged in Black on Imperative PR Management UK. Find Forged in Black at Fighter Records. Follow Forged in Black on Bandcamp. Follow Forged in Black on Spotify.
Consecration – Jorge Figueiredo – Drums Throughout the years I have watched a few bands. Not as many as I would have wanted to. From local bands I was very good friends with, to full- on festivals I have attended there is one band (okay…maybe two) that will always be in my mind and in my heart. DIMMU BORGIR back in 2003 in Lisbon. They were on their top form, musically for me it was a masterpiece and still is and the stage presence was immense. That was one of the first gigs I attended. Lately I haven’t attended any top shelf gigs apart of the ones I play, life is just too busy with other things, you know! And then there is that other band that I was absolutely gobsmacked by – and that was DEFTONES. I mean they were ‘wow’! Like I said previously, from local bands back where I came from who I was very good friends with, to family members being involved in music – it was always part of my life. At the age of 8 I picked up an acoustic guitar and thought, ‘this is not for me’…so I chose drums! Follow Consecration on Instagram. Follow Consecration on Facebook. Follow Consecration on Twitter. Subscribe to Consecration on YouTube. Find Consecration at Imperative PR Management UK.
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Find Consecration at Redefining Darkness Records.